Tuesday, 6 July 2010


Caring has been a more than full time job over the last month, we've been through a particularly bad spell with Sarah. It happens once in while, usually when you are starting to become complacent because you feel as if you're on top of the autism. You'd think by now we'd have realized that autism is an uphill climb and you never really get on top of it, you can get so far, but then you inevitably become faced by a sheer cliff wall and you've got to go around it, and when you've got around it you've got to face up to the fact that there is another bloody great hill on the horizon and in no time at all you'll be climbing that one. So you make the most of the downhill slopes and get as much done when you are on level ground as you can.

Our bit of level ground is at the end of the garden. The working end of the garden in other words. Being in a state of permanent financial distress we like to make he most of what we've got, and what we had was an awkward bit of ground which sloped downwards gently from the far right hand corner to the near left hand corner. Now most of it has been leveled, just a few gentle slopes and we've put in the odd step or two, the pretty end of the garden, near the house looks quite nice now. The far end of the garden was more difficult, brambles, oak tree, old goat willow stumps, an abundance of larger than average rocks embedded in more clay than you really need, assorted pieces of motorbike and other odds and ends which may have come off of a Ford Anglia and the odd clump of reeds, which is normal on a Welsh hillside where boggy areas seem to abound in the most unlikely places. That part of the garden has slowly been beaten into submission and has become the working end of the garden. It has a shed and a greenhouse, a variety of cold frames and a couple of raised beds.

As I mentioned, we don't have a lot of spare cash so it was fortunate that the raw material for the shed and greenhouse were lying around, both in our garden and on the adjacent piece of waste ground which occasionally gets blessed with a bit of fly tipping. You'd be amazed at the amount of usable timber that gets chucked out along with the odd three piece suite.  I won't bore you with the technical details of the construction of the said structures, the shed in particular is of an architectural design known only the fairies at the bottom of our garden, the greenhouse, being on slightly more solid ground is more conventional if a little eccentric. Even so, I am happy to say that both shed and greenhouse are fit for purpose, the shed houses a lawn mower and a strimmer, all the usual garden tools and implements, numerous plant pots, trays and buckets. lots of tins, bottles and jars the contents of which are unknown to me, string, lots of string and dark corners which I don't venture into. At the moment the greenhouse contains tomatoes, cucumbers, melons, aubergines, peppers, chilies and various other bits of exotic veg that don't survive the vagaries of the Welsh climate. There were pelargoniums and fusias and other over wintering things in there, but they have been shifted to make room for the important stuff.

The cold frames are still full of cuttings and flowers that haven't yet made it into the pretty bit of the garden, the raised beds have got turnips, some carrots, spinach, broad beans, runner beans, sweet corn,  cabbages, broccoli, cauliflowers and onions. We had too many leeks and they are now flowering rather more beautifully than the alliums that came up in the early spring! Salad leaves and lettuces are growing in containers here and there.

Due to a bad back, stupid legs ill equipped with knees that won't bend without persuasion and ankles that are definitely not fit for purpose, most of the donkey work is done by Bill, and I am just the supplier of tea etc. at regular intervals. I am also the one that takes all the photos of progress on the horticultural front which is how I come to be writing this post. Whilst participating in the social networking passtime known as Twitter recently, the shed became a recurring subject which attracted a # of its own, personally, I put that down to boredom. So when I was in the garden this morning feeding the fish, opening the greenhouse door and taking in what a beautiful morning it was, it occurred to me that we probably all have our own image of a garden shed in mind, and the chances of anyone having anything close to the right image of our garden shed in their mind were quite remote. So I took a few photos, and here they are, first two of the shed from the only two angles you can see it from, and the second two are of the green house. As you will see, we are not all that into straight lines, weeds are a constant irritant and stuff grows so quick we can't keep up with it. I will end with my usual apology, this time to the real gardeners out there who will probably be weeping at the sight of our veg plot, and the owners of real sheds who will probably have nightmares at the very thought of ours......

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